• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Table of Contents
 Permanent grasses for Florida...
 Soil preparation for new lawns
 When to plant the lawn
 Care of established lawns
 Testing soils for lawns
 Winter grasses
 Insect pests and their control
 Diseases of lawns and control...
 Weed control in established...






Group Title: Bulletin - University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station ; 518
Title: Lawns in Florida
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026709/00001
 Material Information
Title: Lawns in Florida
Series Title: Bulletin University of Florida. Agricultural Experiment Station
Physical Description: 20 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Ritchey, G. E ( George Edgar ), 1888-1960
Thornton, G. D ( George Daniel ), 1910-
Publisher: University of Florida Agricultural Experiment Station
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1953
 Subjects
Subject: Lawns -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Geo. E. Ritchey and Geo. D. Thornton.
General Note: Cover title.
Funding: This collection includes items related to Florida’s environments, ecosystems, and species. It includes the subcollections of Florida Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit project documents, the Florida Sea Grant technical series, the Florida Geological Survey series, the Howard T. Odum Center for Wetland technical reports, and other entities devoted to the study and preservation of Florida's natural resources.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026709
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000926033
oclc - 18270445
notis - AEN6692

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
    Front Matter
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Table of Contents
        Page 4
    Permanent grasses for Florida lawns
        Page 5
        Bermuda
            Page 6
        Centipede
            Page 6
        St. augustine
            Page 7
        Zoysia
            Page 8
    Soil preparation for new lawns
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    When to plant the lawn
        Page 12
    Care of established lawns
        Page 12
        Mowing
            Page 12
        Watering
            Page 13
        Fertilization
            Page 14
            Page 15
    Testing soils for lawns
        Page 16
    Winter grasses
        Page 17
    Insect pests and their control
        Page 18
    Diseases of lawns and control measures
        Page 19
    Weed control in established lawns
        Page 20
Full Text



Bulletin 518


UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATIONS
WILLARD M. FIFIELD, Director
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA






Lawns in Florida

By GEO. E. RITCHEY and GEO. D. THORNTON


Fig. 1.-A two-year-old Centipede grass lawn on deep Norfolk sand.


Single copies free to Florida residents on request to
AGRICULTURAL EXPERIMENT STATION
GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA


June 1953










BOARD OF CONTROL
Frank M. Harris, Chairman, St. Petersburg
Hollis Rinehart, Miami
Eli H. Fink, Jacksonville
George J. White, Sr., Mount Dora
Mrs. Alfred I. duPont, Jacksonville
George W. English, Jr., Ft. Lauderdale
W. Glenn Miller, Monticello
W. F. Powers, Secretary, Tallahassee
EXECUTIVE STAFF
J. Hillis Miller, Ph.D., President
J. Wayne Reitz, Ph.D., Provost for Agr."
Willard M. Fifield, M.S., Director
J. R. Beckenbach, Ph.D., Asso. Director
L. 0. Gratz. Ph.D., Assistant Director
Rogers L. Bartley, B.S., Admin. Mgr.'
Geo. R. Freeman, B.S., Farm Superintendent

MAIN STATION, GAINESVILLE
AGRICULTURAL ECONOMICS
H. G. Hamilton, Ph.D., Agr. Economist s
R. E. L. Greene, Ph.D., Agr. Economist
M. A. Brooker, Ph.D., Agr. Economist
Zach Savage, M.S.A., Associate
A. H. Spurlock, M.S.A., Associate
D. E. Alleger, M.S., Associate
D. L. Brooke, M.S.A., Associate
M. R. Godwin, Ph.D., Associate
W. K. McPherson, M.S., Economist
Eric Thor, M.S., Asso. Agr. Economist
J. L. Tennant, Ph.D., Agr. Economist
Cecil N. Smith, M.A., Asso. Agr. Economist
Levi A. Powell, Sr., M.S.A., Assistant
Orlando, Florida (Cooperative USDA)
G. Norman Rose, B.S., Asso. Agri. Economist
J. C. Townsend, Jr., B.S.A., Agricultural
Statistician 2
J. B. Owens, B.S.A., Agr. Statistician '
J. K. Lankford, B.S., Agr. Statistician
AGRICULTURAL ENGINEERING
Frazier Rogers, M.S.A., Agr. Engineer1'
J. M. Myers, B.S., Asso. Agr. Engineer
J. S. Norton, M.S., Asst. Agr. Eng.
AGRONOMY
Fred H. Hull, Ph.D., Agronomist 1
G. B. Killinger, Ph.D., Agronomist
H. C. Harris, Ph.D., Agronomist
R. W. Bledsoe, Ph.D., Agronomist
W. A. Carver, Ph.D., Associate
Darrel D. Morey, Ph.D., Associate 2
Fred A. Clark, M.S., Assistant2
Myron G. Grennell, B.S.A.E., Assistant
E. S. Horner, Ph.D., Assistant
A. T. Wallace, Ph.D., Assistant
D. E. McCloud, Ph.D., Assistants
G. C. Nutter, Ph.D., Asst. Agronomist
ANIMAL HUSBANDRY AND NUTRITION
T. J. Cunha, Ph.D., An. Husb.1 '
G. K. Davis, Ph.D., Animal Nutritionist
S. John Folks, Jr., M.S.A., Asst. An. Husb. .
A. M. Pearson, Ph.D., Asso. An. Husb.3
John P. Feaster, Ph.D., Asst. An. Nutri.
H. D. Wallace, Ph.D., Asst. An. Husb. '
M. Koger, Ph.D., An. Husbandman
E. F. Johnston, M.S., Asst. An. Hush. 8
J. F. Hentges, Jr., Ph.D., Asst. An. Hush. 3
L. R. Arrington, Ph.D., Asst. Biochemist
DAIRY SCIENCE
E. L. Fouts, Ph.D., Dairy Tech.' 3
R. B. Becker, Ph.D., Dairy Husb.3
S. P. Marshall, Ph.D., Asso. Dairy Husb.'
W. A. Krienke, M.S., Asso. Dairy Tech.'
P. T. Dix Arnold, M.S.A., Asst. Dairy Husb. 3
Leon Mull, Ph.D., Asso. Dairy Tech. 8
H. H. Wilkowske, Ph.D., Asst. Dairy Tech. '
James M. Wing, Ph.D., Asst. Dairy Hush..


EDITORIAL
J. Francis Cooper, M.S.A., Editor
Clyde Beale, A.B.J., Associate Editor"
L. Odell Griffith, B.A.J., Asst. Editor3
J. N. Joiner, B.S.A., Assistant Editor
William G. Mitchell, A.B.J., Assistant Editor

ENTOMOLOGY
A. N. Tissot, Ph.D., Entomologist'
L. C. Kuitert, Ph.D., Associate
H. E. Bratley, M.S.A., Assistant
F. A. Robinson, M.S., Asst. Apiculturist
R. E. Waites, Ph.D., Asst. Entomologist

HOME ECONOMICS
Ouida D. Abbott, Ph.D., Home Econ.'
R. B. French, Ph.D., Biochemist

HORTICULTURE
G. H. Blackmon, M.S.A., Horticulturist1
F. S. Jamison, Ph.D., Horticulturist's
Albert P. Lorz, Ph.D., Horticulturist
R. K. Showalter, M.S., Asso. Hort.
R. A. Dennison, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.
R. H. Sharpe, M.S., Asso. Horticulturist
V. F. Nettles, Ph.D., Asso. Horticulturist
F. S. Lagasse, Ph.D., Horticulturist'
R. D. Dickey, M.S.A., Asso. Hort.
L. H. Halsey, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.
C. B. Hall, Ph.D., Asst. Horticulturist
Austin Griffiths, Jr., B.S., Asst. Hort.
S. E. McFadden, Jr., Ph.D., Asst. Hort.
C. H. VanMiddelem, Ph.D., Asst. Biochemist
Buford D. Thompson, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.
James Montelaro, Ph.D.. Asst. Horticulturist
M. W. Hoover, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.
LIBRARY
Ida Keeling Cresap, Librarian
PLANT PATHOLOGY
W. B. Tisdale, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist'
Phares Decker, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
Erdman West, M.S., Mycologist and
Botanist 3
Robert W. Earhart, Ph.D., Plant Path.'
Howard N. Miller, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Path.
Lillian E. Arnold, M.S., Asst. Botanist
C. W. Anderson, Ph.D., Asst. Plant Path.
POULTRY HUSBANDRY
N. R. Mehrhof, M.Agr., Poultry Husb.'
J. C. Driggers, Ph.D., Asso. Poultry Husb.
SOILS
F. B. Smith, Ph.D., Microbiologist'
Gaylord M. Volk, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
J. R. Neller, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
Nathan Gammon, Jr., Ph.D., Soils Chemist
Ralph G. Leighty, B.S., Asst. Soil Surveyor
G. D. Thornton, Ph.D., Asso. Microbiologist
Charles F. Eno, Ph.D., Asst. Soils Micro-
biologist
H. W. Winsor, B.S.A., Assistant Chemist
R. E. Caldwell, M.S.A., Asst. Chemist3*
V. W. Carlisle, B.S., Asst. Soil Surveyor
J. H. Walker, M.S.A., Asst. Soil Surveyor
S. N. Edson, M. S., Asst. Soil Surveyor3
William K. Robertson, Ph.D., Asst. Chemist
0. E. Cruz, B.S.A., Asst. Soil Surveyor
W. G. Blue, Ph.D., Asst. Biochemist
J. G.A. Fiskel, Ph.D., Asst. Biochemist3
L. C. Hammond, Ph.D., Asst. Soil Physicist"
H. L. Breland, Ph.D., Asst. Soils Chem.
VETERINARY SCIENCE
D. A. Sanders, D.V.M., Veterinarian 1 3
M. W. Emmel, D.V.M., Veterinarian
C. F. Simpson, D.V.M., Asso. Veterinarian
L. E. Swanson, D.V.M., Parasitologist
Glenn Van Ness, D.V.M., Asso. Poultry
Pathologist 3
W. R. Dennis, D.V.M., Asst. Parasitologist
E. W. Swarthout, D.V.M., Asso. Poultry
Pathologist (Dade City)









BRANCH STATIONS

NORTH FLORIDA STATION, QUINCY
W. C. Rhoades, Jr., M.S., Entomologist in
Charge
R. R. Kincaid, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
L. G. Thompson, Jr., Ph.D., Soils Chemist
W. H. Chapman, M.S., Asso. Agronomist
Frank S. Baker, Jr., B.S., Asst. An. Iusb.
T. E. Webb, B.S.A., Asst. Agronomist
Frank E. Guthrie, Ph.D., Asst. Entomologist
Mobile Unit, Monticello
R. W. Wallace, B.S., Associate Agronomist
Mobile Unit, Marianna
R. W. Lipscomb, M.S., Associate Agronomist
Mobile Unit, Pensacola
R. L. Smith, M.S., Associate Agronomist
Mobile Unit, Chipley
J. B. White, B.S.A., Associate Agronomist

CITRUS STATION, LAKE ALFRED
A. F. Camp, Ph.D., Vice-Director in Charge
W. L. Thompson, B.S., Entomologist
R. F. Suit, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
E. P. Ducharme, Ph.D., Asso. Plant Path.
C. R. Stearns, Jr., B.S.A., Asso. Chemist
J. W. Sites, Ph.D., Horticulturist
H. 0. Sterling, B.S., Asst. Horticulturist
H. J. Reitz, Ph.D., Horticulturist
Francine Fisher, M.S., Asst. Plant Path.
I. W. Wander, Ph.D., Soils Chemist
J. W. Kesterson, M.S., Asso. Chemist
R. Hendrickson, B.S., Asst. Chemist
Ivan Stewart, Ph.D., Asst. Biochemist
D. S. Prosser, Jr., B.S., Asst. Horticulturist
R. W. Olsen, B.S., Biochemist
F. W. Wenzel, Jr., Ph.D., Chemist
Alvin H. Rouse, M.S., Asso. Chemist
H. W. Ford, Ph.D., Asst. Horticulturist
L. C. Knorr, Ph.D., Asso. Histologist '
R. M. Pratt, Ph.D., Asso. Ent.-Pathologist
J. W. Davis, B.S.A., Asst. in Ent.-Path.
W. A. Simanton, Ph.D., Entomologist
E. J. Deszyck, Ph.D., Asso. Horticulturist
C. D. Leonard, Ph.D., Asso. Horticulturist
W. T. Long, M.S., Asst. Horticulturist
M. H. Muma, Ph.D., Asso. Entomologist
F. J. Reynolds, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.
W. F. Spencer, Ph.D., Asst. Chem.
I. If. Holtsberg, B.S.A., Asst. Ento.-Path.
K. G. Townsend, B.S.A., Asst. Ento.-Path.
J. B. Weeks, B.S., Asst. Ento.-Path.
R. B. Johnson, Ph.D., Asst. Entomologist
W. F. Newhall, Ph.D., Asst. Biochem.
W. F. Grierson-Jackson, Ph.D.. Asst. Chem.
Roger Patrick, Ph.D., Bacteriologist
Marion F. Oberbacher, Ph.D., Asst. Plant
Physiologist
Evert J. Elvin, B.S., Asst. Horticulturist

EVERGLADES STATION, BELLE GLADE
W. T. Forsee, Jr., Ph.D., Chemist in Charge
R. V. Allison, Ph.D., Fiber Technologist
Thomas Bregger, Ph.D., Physiologist
J. W. Randolph, M.S., Agricultural Engr.
R. W. Kidder, M.S., Asso. Animal Hush.
C. C. Seale, Associate Agronomist
N. C. Hayslip, B.S.A., Asso. Entomologist
E. A. Wolf, M.S., Asst. Horticulturist
W. H. Thames, M.S., Asst. Entomologist
W. N. Stoner, Ph.D., Asst. Plant Path.
W. G. Genung, B.S.A., Asst. Entomologist
Frank V. Stevenson, M.S., Asso. Plant Path.
Robert J. Allen, Ph.D., Asst. Agronomist
V. E. Green, Ph.D., Asst. Agronomist
J. F. Darby, Ph.D., Asst. Plant Path.
H. L. Chapman, Jr., M.S.A., Asst. An. Husb.
V. L. Guzman, Ph.D., Asst. Hort.
M. R. Bedsole, M.S.A., Asst. Chem.
J. C. Stephens. B.S., Drainage Engineer 2
A. E. Kretschmer, Jr., Ph.D., Asst. Soils
Chem.


SUB-TROPICAL STATION, HOMESTEAD
Geo. D. Ruehle, Ph.D., Vice-Dir. in Charge
D. O. Wolfenbarger, Ph.D., Entomologist
Francis B. Lincoln, Ph.D., Horticulturist
Robert A. Conover, Ph.D., Plant Path.
John L. Malcolm, Ph.D., Asso. Soils Chemist
R. W. Harkness, Ph.D., Asst. Chemist
R. Bruce Ledin, Ph.D., Asst. Hort.
J. C. Noonan, M.S., Asst. Hort.
H. H. Gallatin, B.S., Soil Conservationist2

WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA STATION,
BROOKSVILLE
Marian W. Hazen, M.S., Animal Husband-
man in Charge

RANGE CATTLE STATION, ONA
W. G. Kirk, Ph.D., Vice-Director in Charge
E. M. Hodges, Ph.D., Agronomist
D. W. Jones, M.S., Asst. Soil Technologist
F. M. Peacock, M.S., Asst. Animal Husb.

CENTRAL FLORIDA STATION, SANFORD
R. W. Ruprecht, Ph.D., Vice-Dir. in Charge
J. W. Wilson, Sc.D., Entomologist
P. J. Westgate, Ph.D., Asso. Hort.
Ben. F. Whitner, Jr., B.S.A., Asst. Hort.
Geo. Swank, Jr., Ph.D., Asst. Plant Path.

WEST FLORIDA STATION, JAY
C. E. Hutton, Ph.D., Vice-Director in Charge
H. W. Lundy, B.S.A., Associate Agronomist
W. R. Langford, Ph.D., Asst. Agronomist

SUWANNEE VALLEY STATION,
LIVE OAK
G. E. Ritchey, M.S., Agronomist in Charge

GULF COAST STATION, BRADENTON
E. L. Spencer, Ph.D., Soils Chemist in Charge
E. G. Kelsheimer, Ph.D., Entomologist
David G. A. Kelbert, Asso. Horticulturist
Robert O. Magie, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
J. M. Walter, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
Donald S. Burgis, M.S.A., Asst. Hort.
C. M. Geraldson, Ph.D., Asst. Horticulturist
Amegda Jack, M.S., Asst. Soils Chemist


FIELD LABORATORIES

Watermelon, Grape, Pasture-Leesburg
J. M. Crall, Ph.D., Associate Plant Path-
ologist Acting in Charge
C. C. Helms, Jr., B.S., Asst. Agronomist
L. H. Stover, Assistant in Horticulture
Strawberry-Plant City
A. N. Brooks, Ph.D., Plant Pathologist
Vegetables-Hastings
A. H. Eddins, Ph.D., Plant Path. in Charge
E. N. McCubbin, Ph.D., Horticulturist
T. M. Dobrovsky, Ph.D., Asst. Entomologist
Pecans-Monticello
A. M. Phillips, B.S., Asso. Entomologist 2
John R. Large. M.S.. Asso. Plant Path.

Frost Forecasting-Lakeland
Warren O. Johnson, B.S., Meterologist in
Chg. '

I Head of Department
2 In cooperation with U. S.
3 Cooperative, other divisions, U. of F.
I On leave















CONTENTS
Page

PERMANENT GRASSES FOR FLORIDA LAWNS ....................-..---------------- 5

Berm uda ......... .......- ..- ......... ......... .... ................... 6

Centipede ....................... ... --... --------------- ----------------- 6

St. Augustine ..............---- .. ..---.- ---- .--..-- ------.. ----------- 7

Zoysia .......... ........ ........ ...... .---. ------- ------------------- 8

SOIL PREPARATION FOR NEW LAWNS ---.-................ ---- --------------- 8

WHEN TO PLANT THE LAWN ....................----. ----- ------------- 12

CARE OF ESTABLISHED LAWNS --------......--.....----.....----------....--- ---------------- 12

Mowing ......-............ ....... ----- ---- --------- ------------. 12

W watering ....- --............... ... ............. ... ------- ---------------- 13

Fertilization ......-....... ...... .... ........--.......-. ----------- 14

TESTING SOILS FOR LAWNS .....--.......................-- -------------------- 6

W INTER GRASSES ...................------ ......-------- -------. ---- 17

INSECT PESTS AND THEIR CONTROL .......----...-..---------------------------- 18

DISEASES OF LAWNS AND CONTROL MEASURES ....--.-------------.------------- 19


WEED CONTROL IN ESTABLISHED LAWNS ....................-------------------------------- 20









Lawns in Florida1


GEO. E. RITCHEY and GEO. D. THORNTON

Lawns are an important part of any home site. A smooth,
green covering adds much to the beauty of a home. In addition,
it cuts down the heat reflected from bright, sandy soil, lessens
the amount of sand carried into the house on shoes, prevents
washing or eroding of the soil, and if properly managed affords
an enjoyable outdoor playground for the entire family.
A well-kept lawn adds to the value of the home and affords
the owner a pride in his property. A well-kept lawn is just as
essential to the home in farm and rural communities as it is in
the city.
Because of its mild climate, Florida can have attractive lawns
the entire year. Most summer lawn grasses in northern Florida
will furnish green cover eight or nine months in the year; by
seeding winter-growing grasses in the turf during the fall, a
beautiful green lawn will grow during the winter months. Thus,
the yearly cycle of green may be completed. In southern Florida,
the commonly used lawn grasses remain green all year.

PERMANENT GRASSES FOR FLORIDA LAWNS
Five grasses are most often used for lawn in Florida. These
are: Bermuda, Carpet, Centipede, St. Augustine, and Zoysia.
Bahia grass is sometimes used for lawns in Florida, although it
is not generally recommended.
Bermuda Grass.-This lawn grass may be propagated by either
seed or vegetative parts. Most varieties of Bermuda have ex-
tensive and rapidly growing underground stems (rhizomes) and
aboveground runners stolonss). These allow it to spread rapidly;
for this reason, it may become a pest on land which may be used
later for vegetables or flowers.
Several varieties of Bermuda grass exist. The common type
of Bermuda-found growing in open cultivated fields, roadways
and wasteland-is spoken of as "common Bermuda." This is the
variety most widely used on lawns. One strain, known as St.
Lucie grass, is similar to the common type except that it has no
rhizomes. St. Lucie is susceptible to a leaf spot disease which
makes it unsightly; it is not recommended for lawns.

1 Cuts used in this bulletin are from Bulletin 209.






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


Several new strains of Bermuda have been developed by grass
breeders; these will be available on the market before long. Tif-
ton 57 and No. U3 are fine, small types which no doubt will soon
become popular turf grasses. Coastal Bermuda and Suwannee
Bermuda, two pasture types, are not recommended for lawns.
Bermuda is particularly well adapted to the heavier soils with
a good supply of moisture. It should not be considered for very
light sandy soils unless the owner is prepared to furnish an
abundance of water, top-dressing and fertilizer. While less toler-
ant to shade than St. Augustine or Carpet, Bermuda is more
tolerant to salt spray than other lawn grasses.
Carpet Grass.-Carpet grass is a native of Central America
and the West Indies. It volunteers over the Southeastern states
wherever weeds and other vegetation are controlled to avoid
competition.
This grass is adapted to moist sandy loam soils. It does not
make satisfactory growth on dry soils or lands which remain dry
during part of the season. Carpet grass makes an acceptable
turf on lawns which are kept moist or where the soil water table
is near the surface.
A sod is easily established from seeds; home owners can buy
Carpet seed at most seed stores. This grass produces an abun-
dance of seed in late summer and autumn, on seed stems 12 to
18 inches in height. Such stems are difficult to keep mowed,
and give an unsightly appearance to the lawn. For this reason,
Carpet grass is not popular for lawns in this state. The new-type
rotary mower will mow grasses such as Carpet which have long
seed stems.
Centipede Grass.-Centipede grass is a native of Central
China. It is well adapted to the climate and soils of Florida.
Centipede produces a large quantity of seed heads, but only
a limited quantity of viable seed. It is propagated by trans-
planting plants or cuttings of the runners into the lawn. Spread-
ing rapidly by stolons (or runners), it makes a thick mat of turf
on the ground when well fertilized. The turf does not become
as dense when not fertilized heavily. Centipede may grow to
a height of four to six inches; unless fertilized, it requires a
minimum amount of mowing.
There are two distinct types of Centipede grass. One, known
as the green-leaf type, does not develop a red color in the leaves,
stems and seed heads, and remains light green during poor grow-
ing conditions. The other type is darker green; and, during






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


Several new strains of Bermuda have been developed by grass
breeders; these will be available on the market before long. Tif-
ton 57 and No. U3 are fine, small types which no doubt will soon
become popular turf grasses. Coastal Bermuda and Suwannee
Bermuda, two pasture types, are not recommended for lawns.
Bermuda is particularly well adapted to the heavier soils with
a good supply of moisture. It should not be considered for very
light sandy soils unless the owner is prepared to furnish an
abundance of water, top-dressing and fertilizer. While less toler-
ant to shade than St. Augustine or Carpet, Bermuda is more
tolerant to salt spray than other lawn grasses.
Carpet Grass.-Carpet grass is a native of Central America
and the West Indies. It volunteers over the Southeastern states
wherever weeds and other vegetation are controlled to avoid
competition.
This grass is adapted to moist sandy loam soils. It does not
make satisfactory growth on dry soils or lands which remain dry
during part of the season. Carpet grass makes an acceptable
turf on lawns which are kept moist or where the soil water table
is near the surface.
A sod is easily established from seeds; home owners can buy
Carpet seed at most seed stores. This grass produces an abun-
dance of seed in late summer and autumn, on seed stems 12 to
18 inches in height. Such stems are difficult to keep mowed,
and give an unsightly appearance to the lawn. For this reason,
Carpet grass is not popular for lawns in this state. The new-type
rotary mower will mow grasses such as Carpet which have long
seed stems.
Centipede Grass.-Centipede grass is a native of Central
China. It is well adapted to the climate and soils of Florida.
Centipede produces a large quantity of seed heads, but only
a limited quantity of viable seed. It is propagated by trans-
planting plants or cuttings of the runners into the lawn. Spread-
ing rapidly by stolons (or runners), it makes a thick mat of turf
on the ground when well fertilized. The turf does not become
as dense when not fertilized heavily. Centipede may grow to
a height of four to six inches; unless fertilized, it requires a
minimum amount of mowing.
There are two distinct types of Centipede grass. One, known
as the green-leaf type, does not develop a red color in the leaves,
stems and seed heads, and remains light green during poor grow-
ing conditions. The other type is darker green; and, during







Lawns in Florida


adverse growing conditions or when approaching maturity, the
leaves, stems and seed heads develop a red color. This gives the
lawn an undesirable appearance. Several other stains exist, but
the two types described above are most common.
Centipede grass is comparatively free of insects and diseases.
It is occasionally attacked by a crown and stem disease, but
this is rare. The grass sometimes dies in spots about over the
lawn. Insects may be the cause, but more often the trouble is
actually caused by extreme dry weather following a period of
good growing conditions. Under good growing conditions the
roots develop a thick layer near the surface instead of reaching
down into the soil. When the moisture is gone, these roots be-
come dry and the plants die.
The leaves are killed by light frost in the fall, but the lawn
turns green again in the spring when warm weather comes and
moisture is available. Centipede grass is less tolerant to shade
than St. Augustine or Carpet and is readily injured by salt spray.
St. Augustine Grass.-St. Augustine grass is a native of the
lower east coast of the United States. It is a rapidly growing

Fig. 2.-Given plenty of water and fertilizer, St. Augustine grass flourishes
even in shady locations.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


grass which spreads by stolons. This grass is propagated by
cuttings because practically no seed are produced. The leaves
are lighter green than those of Centipede, and produce a coarser
appearing lawn, due to the thickness and stiffness of the leaves.
St. Augustine grass does not withstand severe drought as well
as Centipede, but will tolerate more shade. It also withstands
more frost, and usually remains green in the fall longer than
Centipede. St. Augustine grass is less tolerant than Bermuda,
but more tolerant than other lawn grasses, to salt spray.
St. Augustine grass is often attacked by chinch bugs, making
the lawn look ragged. There are several treatments which can
be used to combat these insects (see section on insect control).
Zoysia Grass.-Zoysia-often advertised and spoken of as
Flawn or Manila grass-is a native of tropical or Eastern Asia.
The grass is extremely fine and does not grow more than two
to six inches high. It seldom needs mowing, but normally with
fertilization produces a heavy carpet of velvety turf.
Zoysia grass makes a very slow growth; therefore it requires
one or more years to produce a sod. Very little seed of the grass
can be obtained on the market; therefore it is propagated by
rhizomes and plants. It spreads by abundant rhizomes, tending
to grow beyond the limits of the lawn. For this reason, Zoysia
requires edging frequently.
A lawn of Zoysia grass requires a great deal of weeding and
removal of other grasses until it is well established. However,
it is susceptible to few insects or diseases.
Several new strains have been developed, but are still in the
experimental stage.

SOIL PREPARATION FOR NEW LAWNS
Planning lawn building in advance is as important as planning
the home construction itself. Costs may be reduced by saving
topsoil from foundation excavations, taking most advantage of
grade or slope for drainage, providing convenient hydrants for
easy watering, and removing roots and stumps from the area.
For those planning a new lawn, seven suggestions are offered:
1. Remove from the soil all pieces of concrete blocks, bricks,
scraps of lumber, bits of mortar and other debris.
2. Level the surface, taking care not to leave depressions
where water will stand during prolonged periods of heavy rains.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


grass which spreads by stolons. This grass is propagated by
cuttings because practically no seed are produced. The leaves
are lighter green than those of Centipede, and produce a coarser
appearing lawn, due to the thickness and stiffness of the leaves.
St. Augustine grass does not withstand severe drought as well
as Centipede, but will tolerate more shade. It also withstands
more frost, and usually remains green in the fall longer than
Centipede. St. Augustine grass is less tolerant than Bermuda,
but more tolerant than other lawn grasses, to salt spray.
St. Augustine grass is often attacked by chinch bugs, making
the lawn look ragged. There are several treatments which can
be used to combat these insects (see section on insect control).
Zoysia Grass.-Zoysia-often advertised and spoken of as
Flawn or Manila grass-is a native of tropical or Eastern Asia.
The grass is extremely fine and does not grow more than two
to six inches high. It seldom needs mowing, but normally with
fertilization produces a heavy carpet of velvety turf.
Zoysia grass makes a very slow growth; therefore it requires
one or more years to produce a sod. Very little seed of the grass
can be obtained on the market; therefore it is propagated by
rhizomes and plants. It spreads by abundant rhizomes, tending
to grow beyond the limits of the lawn. For this reason, Zoysia
requires edging frequently.
A lawn of Zoysia grass requires a great deal of weeding and
removal of other grasses until it is well established. However,
it is susceptible to few insects or diseases.
Several new strains have been developed, but are still in the
experimental stage.

SOIL PREPARATION FOR NEW LAWNS
Planning lawn building in advance is as important as planning
the home construction itself. Costs may be reduced by saving
topsoil from foundation excavations, taking most advantage of
grade or slope for drainage, providing convenient hydrants for
easy watering, and removing roots and stumps from the area.
For those planning a new lawn, seven suggestions are offered:
1. Remove from the soil all pieces of concrete blocks, bricks,
scraps of lumber, bits of mortar and other debris.
2. Level the surface, taking care not to leave depressions
where water will stand during prolonged periods of heavy rains.







Lawns in Florida


3. Terrace steep slopes; however, it is better to have gently
rolling terraces rather than extremely steep terraces. Use a
grade of not more than one foot in four feet. This will not only
add to the appearance of the lawn, but will make mowing easier
and facilitate a more even distribution of fertilizers and water.
If the distance and fall are such that the slope cannot be cared
for satisfactorily with a one-in-four-foot grade, consider one or
more dry-wall embankments with grassed terraces on either side.
4. Improve the fertility. Most Florida soils are sandy and
low in natural fertility. Additions of organic matter and fer-
tilizer must be made. Use peat and muck, manures, composts,
topsoil or a combination of those materials, as well as fertilizer.
Where peat, manure and compost are used, apply the material
to the surface just prior to the final leveling operation and work
it into the soil thoroughly to a depth of three or four inches.
Only weed-free stable manure should be used. Apply this at
the rate of one or two cubic yards per 1,000 square feet. Apply
peat and muck in quantities sufficient to give a layer one inch
deep uniformly over the entire area. This will require approxi-
mately four cubic yards for 1,000 square feet. Mix the organic
layer and sand beneath thoroughly to a depth of 3 to 5 inches.
Where the soil is largely white sand, add a five-inch layer of
topsoil to the surface. First add a two-inch layer and mix it
thoroughly with the surface of the sand. Then add the additional
layer of three inches. This will eliminate definite layers of soil
and will provide a gradual change or zone of transition between
layers; thus, the moisture relationship in the rooting zone will be
improved.
5. Lime acid soils. A soil reaction test prior to the addition
of fertilizer will determine the need for lime. If the soil is ex-
tremely acid (pH 4.5 or lower), or if acid peat or muck has been
used in preparing the lawn soil, use 30 to 50 pounds of finely
ground dolomitic limestone per 1,000 square feet. Centipede
grass will tolerate more soil acidity (below pH 6.0) than St.
Augustine and Bermuda grasses. On the other hand, St. Aug-
ustine and Bermuda will thrive much better in neutral or slightly
alkaline soils than Centipede. Therefore, the variety of grass
to be used in the lawn-as well as the existing reaction of the
soil-will have to be considered when determining whether or
not to use lime and the amount required.
6. Apply mineral fertilizers. Apply complete fertilizer at the
last leveling operation prior to planting. Twenty-five to 50






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


pounds of 5-7-5, 6-6-6 or 5-10-5 fertilizer evenly distributed on
1,000 square feet are satisfactory for the initial application. Use
a fertilizer which furnishes at least one-half of the nitrogen from
organic sources. Many fertilizer manufacturers offer special
lawn mixtures that are satisfactory. Use 25 to 30 pounds of
5-10-5 fertilizer where manure or good quality peat or muck has
been applied. Frequently, it is convenient to mix the commercial
fertilizer with manure or compost and add both at the same time,
thus saving one operation. Regardless of whether the fertilizer
is added with some other constituent or alone, rake it into the
surface two or three inches of soil and keep the area moist for
several days prior to planting. Be careful not to over-irrigate,
as this will wash a large portion of the fertilizer below the feeding
zone of the grass roots.
7. The lawn may be planted by seeding, sprigging or sodding.
Common Bermuda and Carpet grass seed are available. Use
only good clean seed, free from weed seed and having high germ-
ination. It requires about three weeks for seed of either of

Fig. 3.-Other grasses are coming into this Bermuda sod in a park. A
dense sod of Bermuda grass makes an attractive lawn, but Bermuda requires
a good soil, plenty of moisture, fertilizer and weeding.







Lawns in Florida


these grasses to germinate. The young plants grow quite slowly
at first. For this reason, weed seed in the soil or in the seed
sown generally make weeding necessary at first. After the grass
plants are well started, it is not necessary to weed the lawn to
any extent; most weeds can be controlled by frequent mowing.
Use two or three pounds of good quality unhulled seed of Ber-
muda or Carpet grass to seed 1,000 square feet of lawn. The
seed can be sown with a broadcast seeder or by hand. It is best
to go over the lawn twice in seeding. Cover the entire lawn with
one-half the total amount of seed to be used, then again with
the remaining half, sowing at right angles to the first seeding.
After the seed have been broadcast, rake them in with a gar-
den rake. Since the seed are very small, they should not be
covered deeply. Therefore, they will be confined to the top layer
of soil which dries quickly. If a regular lawn roller is available,
firm the top soil by rolling. Immediately following seeding and
rolling, water the area. Take care not to wash away any of
the topsoil, since the seed are mixed in it and will wash away with
it. Frequent watering with a light spray will be most efficient
in inducing germination.
A more common method of starting a lawn is by setting out
the plants or runners. These start much more quickly than
seed, and when the grasses are started this way weeds are less
troublesome. To establish a lawn by sprigging, prepare the seed-
bed as described for seeding. Open small trenches about 10 to
12 inches apart and sprig in the grass immediately, before the
soil dries.
Set the plants well into the soil, leaving only an inch or two
of the stem tips protruding. Keep the lawn moist to a depth of
five inches until the plants are firmly rooted. Three or four
pounds of runners or vegetative material should set 100 square
feet of lawn at the rate given above, provided the runners are
broken into pieces from six to eight inches long. Take care not
to set the runners upside down in the soil; this is a common
mistake.
Sodding is the most expensive method of establishing a lawn;
it is used only where an immediate coverage is desired, or where
expense is no consideration. For the most satisfactory results,
prepare the soil as for seeding and sprigging. Make broad flat
furrows, one and one-half to two inches deep, at distances of
six to eight inches apart. The furrows should be the width of a
square-blade shovel. Then place strips of sod in the furrows and







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


level the surface by brushing and sweeping. The area should
be rolled to firm the turf. Apply water immediately, using a
fine spray so as not to erode the soil.

WHEN TO PLANT THE LAWN
If the lawn is to be seeded, it should be done at a season of
the year when the temperature is not extremely high. High tem-
peratures may kill the young, tender plants. The most desirable
time in Florida is either in the early spring or at the beginning
of the rainy season. Lawns seeded in early spring or early
summer will usually require less watering; although watering is
essential when the topsoil becomes dry.
Planting or sprigging with vegetative parts may be accom-
plished at almost any time of the year when water is available.
Early spring or early summer is preferred, but many people
make successful plantings in the autumn months. Planting in
the autumn has the advantage of giving the roots an opportunity
to develop; thus the plant starts its growth in the spring with
good, healthy roots.

CARE OF ESTABLISHED LAWNS
If a lawn is to be attractive it must be mowed, watered and
fertilized frequently and judiciously.
MOWING
Mow the lawn once each week or ten days, depending on the
growth of the grass. It is not advisable to mow too closely; as
such mowing will remove too much leaf surface and weaken the
plants. The mower should be set so as to avoid mowing so close
as to bruise the runners.
Mowing encourages the horizontal growth or spread of lawn
grasses and discourages weed growth. If the mower is used
regularly it will usually be unnecessary to weed the lawn, unless
it has just been started. Persistent weeds may sometimes re-
quire removal.
Experiments have indicated that newly set or seeded lawns
can be made to cover the ground quickly and satisfactorily if
mowing is commenced when the grass has produced runners 10
to 15 inches in length or when they have grown to a height of
about three inches. Begin mowing at this time rather than
later. Begin mowing as early as is necessary in the spring and
continue as long as the grass grows in the autumn.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


level the surface by brushing and sweeping. The area should
be rolled to firm the turf. Apply water immediately, using a
fine spray so as not to erode the soil.

WHEN TO PLANT THE LAWN
If the lawn is to be seeded, it should be done at a season of
the year when the temperature is not extremely high. High tem-
peratures may kill the young, tender plants. The most desirable
time in Florida is either in the early spring or at the beginning
of the rainy season. Lawns seeded in early spring or early
summer will usually require less watering; although watering is
essential when the topsoil becomes dry.
Planting or sprigging with vegetative parts may be accom-
plished at almost any time of the year when water is available.
Early spring or early summer is preferred, but many people
make successful plantings in the autumn months. Planting in
the autumn has the advantage of giving the roots an opportunity
to develop; thus the plant starts its growth in the spring with
good, healthy roots.

CARE OF ESTABLISHED LAWNS
If a lawn is to be attractive it must be mowed, watered and
fertilized frequently and judiciously.
MOWING
Mow the lawn once each week or ten days, depending on the
growth of the grass. It is not advisable to mow too closely; as
such mowing will remove too much leaf surface and weaken the
plants. The mower should be set so as to avoid mowing so close
as to bruise the runners.
Mowing encourages the horizontal growth or spread of lawn
grasses and discourages weed growth. If the mower is used
regularly it will usually be unnecessary to weed the lawn, unless
it has just been started. Persistent weeds may sometimes re-
quire removal.
Experiments have indicated that newly set or seeded lawns
can be made to cover the ground quickly and satisfactorily if
mowing is commenced when the grass has produced runners 10
to 15 inches in length or when they have grown to a height of
about three inches. Begin mowing at this time rather than
later. Begin mowing as early as is necessary in the spring and
continue as long as the grass grows in the autumn.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


level the surface by brushing and sweeping. The area should
be rolled to firm the turf. Apply water immediately, using a
fine spray so as not to erode the soil.

WHEN TO PLANT THE LAWN
If the lawn is to be seeded, it should be done at a season of
the year when the temperature is not extremely high. High tem-
peratures may kill the young, tender plants. The most desirable
time in Florida is either in the early spring or at the beginning
of the rainy season. Lawns seeded in early spring or early
summer will usually require less watering; although watering is
essential when the topsoil becomes dry.
Planting or sprigging with vegetative parts may be accom-
plished at almost any time of the year when water is available.
Early spring or early summer is preferred, but many people
make successful plantings in the autumn months. Planting in
the autumn has the advantage of giving the roots an opportunity
to develop; thus the plant starts its growth in the spring with
good, healthy roots.

CARE OF ESTABLISHED LAWNS
If a lawn is to be attractive it must be mowed, watered and
fertilized frequently and judiciously.
MOWING
Mow the lawn once each week or ten days, depending on the
growth of the grass. It is not advisable to mow too closely; as
such mowing will remove too much leaf surface and weaken the
plants. The mower should be set so as to avoid mowing so close
as to bruise the runners.
Mowing encourages the horizontal growth or spread of lawn
grasses and discourages weed growth. If the mower is used
regularly it will usually be unnecessary to weed the lawn, unless
it has just been started. Persistent weeds may sometimes re-
quire removal.
Experiments have indicated that newly set or seeded lawns
can be made to cover the ground quickly and satisfactorily if
mowing is commenced when the grass has produced runners 10
to 15 inches in length or when they have grown to a height of
about three inches. Begin mowing at this time rather than
later. Begin mowing as early as is necessary in the spring and
continue as long as the grass grows in the autumn.







Lawns in Florida


St. Augustine grass will make a more satisfactory lawn when
it is mowed at a height of two and one-half inches above ground.
Other grasses may be cut at one to one and one-half inches, pro-
vided the turf is thick and sturdy.
WATERING
Keeping the soil moist is essential to having a good lawn in
Florida. A thirsty lawn is never a pretty lawn. However, the
method of applying this water is a critical factor in the lawn
program. Too much water at any one time may wash out the
expensive plant food elements that have been added as com-
mercial fertilizer. Too little water, or mere sprinkling, tends to
bring the roots near the surface and reduces the active feeding
zone. In such cases the watering operation may actually become
harmful rather than beneficial.
The most effective way to find out if your lawn needs water
is to remove a plug of the turf and soil three to four inches deep
with a garden trowel. If the upper one to two inches show ex-
cessive dryness, it is time to water.
There are many excellent lawn sprinklers on the market. It
is far better to use one of these than to attempt the job with
a garden hose. Select a sprinkler that will operate on the water




















Fig. 4.-A watering system arranged so that all or any part of it can
be operated at one time is desirable for the lawn. This lawn is St. Aug-
ustine grass.







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


volume and pressure available at the time of day when watering
is usually done. Early evening just after sundown is a very
good time to water the lawn when disease is not a problem.
Most sandy soils should receive from one-fourth to one-half
inch of water at each watering. The amount added can be de-
termined by placing a coffee can under the spray and measuring
the depth of the water collected. When several trials have been
made, it is fairly safe to arrive at the amount of water that has
been added by finding the length of time the sprinkler has op-
erated. A good type sprinkler at 20 pounds water pressure,
covering 1,000 square feet, will need to run two to three hours
to furnish water equivalent to one-half inch of rain.

FERTILIZATION OF ESTABLISHED LAWNS
When and How to Use Fertilizers.-The best time for applying
complete fertilizer to established lawns is early spring in north-
ern Florida. In southern Florida, where there is less danger of
frost damage and the lawn remains green the entire year, fer-
tilize in both spring and fall. Twenty to 30 pounds of 5-7-5, 6-6-6,
or 5-10-5 fertilizer on 1,000 square feet is recommended for
most lawns other than Centipede throughout the state.
Centipede grass lawns should not be fertilized as heavily as
St. Augustine and Bermuda lawns. If the clippings are left on
the lawn when the grass is mowed, as they should be, Centipede
grass will normally require no fertilization other than an initial
spring application of 15 to 20 pounds of complete fertilizer per
1,000 square feet. Should extremely heavy rains occur or the
grass become very light green in color, an application of two to
three pounds of nitrate of soda for each 1,000 square feet will be
beneficial.
For the more aggressive, heavy feeding grasses, the annual
or semi-annual feeding with complete fertilizer should be sup-
plemented with additional nitrogen fertilizer. Two pounds of
ammonium nitrate or four pounds of nitrate of soda per 1,000
square feet at intervals of eight to 10 weeks should be satis-
factory. To avoid an uneven appearance of the lawn, distribute
all commercial fertilizers as evenly as possible over the entire
area. This may be accomplished with one of the several lawn
fertilizer distributors or by sowing the fertilizer by hand.
Regardless of the method of distribution, the fertilizer for a
given area should be divided; one-half should be applied in one
direction and the remaining half applied while traveling at right






Lawns in Florida


angles to the first direction. Where relatively small quantities
of nitrogen fertilizers will be used a more even distribution is
possible if the fertilizer is mixed with sand before applying it.
Sprinkle the lawn thoroughly immediately after the fertilizer
application to wash any chemicals from the foliage. Otherwise
such chemicals might cause severe burning of leaves. If the soil
is extremely dry at time of fertilizing, continue sprinkling until
the moisture has penetrated five or six inches deep.
The advent of soluble fertilizers on the market has made possi-
ble a very convenient method of applying plant food elements
evenly and with less likelihood of soiling hands and clothing.
The majority of seed and fertilizer dealers carry these materials.
The directions furnished by the manufacturer should be followed
very carefully. This is a high-analysis fertilizer, and if used
at the same rates as low-grade materials it may cause severe
injury to the grass.
Top-dressing the Lawn.-Frequently lawns can be greatly im-
proved by top-dressing with composts. A very satisfactory com-
post for this purpose may be made by mixing one-third peat,

Fig. 5.-Centipede is desirable for high and dry soils. Once established, a
Centipede lawn requires less attention than any other.
'MillPIIa~r.JIHIF~ km.. .







Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


one-third manure and one-third topsoil or sand. Leave this
mixture piled, keeping it moist for several weeks to allow weed
seed to germinate before spreading it on the lawn. The weed
seed may be destroyed by treating the compost with chemicals
available for this purpose. One cubic yard of material will pro-
vide 1/4 inch of top-dressing on 1,000 square feet. The fertilizer
may be applied at the same operation by mixing 20 to 30 pounds
with each cubic yard of compost.
Before top-dressing the lawn, cut the grass closely and rake it
severely so the top-dressing material will make contact with the
soil. To secure an even distribution of the top dressing, dump
the material in small piles; then spread it out over the turf with
the back of a garden rake or with a square-blade shovel. It may
be worked down around the grass roots with a stiff push broom
or a flexible steel yard broom. Low areas in the lawn may be
leveled by filling in with top-dressing compost. However, if the
depression is fairly large and deep, it may be advisable not to
complete the job in one operation; instead, make several addi-
tions at intervals of several months so as to bring the areas up
gradually without seriously damaging the turf.

TESTING SOILS FOR LAWNS
Three important steps should be taken to get the most in-
formation from a soil test. These are: making the proper
sampling of the area, getting the best size sample, and mailing
correctly.
Manner of Sampling.-If a new lawn is being started, one sam-
ple of soil representative of the entire area is sufficient. This
may be obtained by combining a dozen or more subsamples from
as many different locations and taking one sample from the com-
posite for the test.
If areas in an already established lawn are making poor growth,
take samples from the good and poor areas separately, using the
procedure for new lawns described above. Care should be taken
to label properly the samples as to origin.
Size of Sample.-One pint of soil should be taken from each
composite and securely packed in a suitable container for mailing.
Mailing the Sample.-After careful packaging, address sam-
ples to the Department of Soils, Florida Agricultural Experiment
Station, Gainesville, Florida. Write your name plainly on the
outside of the package. Send letter giving a full description of







Lawns in Florida


the area and existing conditions to the above address at the same
time the package containing the soil sample is mailed. To avoid
penalty, do not seal the letter in the package with the soil sample.

WINTER GRASSES
In areas of the state where the common summer grasses do
not remain green throughout the winter, seeding one or more of
the winter grasses will insure a year-round lawn.
Varieties of grass commonly used for this purpose or Italian
ryegrass, Kentucky bluegrass, Redtop, or mixtures of the three.
Italian ryegrass is by far the most satisfactory of all of the win-
ter grasses. The seed germinate very quickly and if good quality
seed are used a stand is almost always assured. Redtop and
bluegrass are subject to a disease known as "brown patch," which
kills the grass in spots over the lawn, making it unsightly. For
this reason, Redtop and bluegrass are not usually recommended
for winter lawns in Florida.
Seeding Winter Grasses.-Early October is a good time to
seed winter grasses to insure a continuous green lawn throughout
the winter months.
Before planting the winter grass, fertilize the lawn with six
pounds of sodium nitrate or three pounds of ammonium nitrate
for each 1,000 square feet.
Winter grass seed may be sown broadcast on top of the sum-
mer grass. This is an excellent time to apply a yearly top-dress-
ing of 1/4 to 1/2 inch of soil to the lawn; this will assist materially
in getting a good stand of grass. Keep the soil moist until the
seed have germinated. Then water the lawn as needed to keep
the grass in a good growing condition.
It is advisable to wait until the grass is about 2 inches high
before mowing for the first time. Thereafter care for the lawn
in a manner similar to that used in handling the summer lawn.
The following rates of seeding are recommended for each 1,000
square feet of lawn: Italian ryegrass 5 to 6 pounds, Kentucky
bluegrass 2 to 3 pounds and Redtop 1 to 2 pounds.
Take precautions to secure seed of high germination and free
from noxious weeds. Purchase seed from a reliable seedsman.
The winter grasses die out as hot weather of late spring and
summer approaches-the permanent lawn grasses will not be in-
jured by the winter grasses if the lawn has been mowed properly.
When the owner fails to mow, or mows infrequently, the winter
grasses may injure the permanent lawn grass.






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


INSECT PESTS AND THEIR CONTROL 2
Fortunately, few insect pests attack the lawn grasses gen-
erally used in'Florida. These grasses are attacked by some in-
sects, however, and these must be guarded against and controlled.
Major Insect Pests.-Chinch bugs have been a serious pest of
St. Augustine lawns in the State, and have attacked Centipede
grass on rare occasions. In 1952, home owners reported more
severe damage, which occurred earlier than in other years.
When chinch bugs are present in the lawn, yellowish spots first
appear-these rapidly turn into brown, dead areas.
Adult chinch bugs are about one-fifth inch long. They have
a black body with whitish wings, each wing having a black spot
in the center. The young have no wings and are reddish in color,
with a light band around the abdomen. These insects injure the
grass by sucking the juices from it.
Many people mistake the false chinch bug for the true chinch
bug. The adult of the false chinch bug is grey instead of black,
and the young are greenish grey. This insect also sucks the
grass juices.
Several insect larvae injure lawn grass. These include the
sod webworm, fall army-worm and grubs of such beetles as the
rhinoceros beetle. The first two types of larvae eat the leaves
of the grass; their injury shows up as closely cropped spots or
burned-out areas. Rhinoceros beetle grubs eat the roots of grass.
Many species of leaf hoppers infest lawns. These insects suck
the grass juices; their damage is often mistaken for the effect
of dry weather or disease. However, they may damage new
lawns so seriously as to require replanting the grass.
Mole-crickets damage lawns by loosening the soil and disturb-
ing the grass roots. Their burrows or runs are more noticeable
in newly set lawns or short-mown grass than in established
lawns.
Ants often build their mounds in lawns. These mounds are
unsightly, and the ants are a nuisance to people using the lawn.
Controlling Insects.-Chlordane and DDT will control most
of the insects that infest lawns. Chlordane is probably the most
widely used insecticide on Florida turf. It will control chinch
bugs (during the rainy season), false chinch bugs, sod web-

SMaterial for this section is condensed from Florida Agricultural Ex-
periment Station Circulars S-42 and S-50.







Lawns in Florida


worms, fall armyworms, rhinoceros beetles, mole-crickets, ants
and the mound-building bee.
For lawns, use the 50 percent wettable powder of chlordane
at the rate of 1 ounce to 3 gallons of water. Apply this amount
of solution to 1,000 square feet of lawn. If you prefer to use a
5 percent chlordane dust, apply it at the rate of 1 to 11/ pounds
per 1,000 square feet of lawn.
When applying chlordane with fertilizer; use 2 to 5 pounds
technical chlordane per acre. Most commercial fertilizers con-
taining chlordane carry 0.5 percent of the actual insecticide, or
11/2 pounds per 100 pounds. Usually it is cheaper to apply
chlordane by itself. If you use commercial fertilizer containing
0.5 percent actual chlordane, apply 10 to 25 pounds per 1,000
square feet. The lower rate could be applied twice a year-the
higher rate, only once.
DDT will control many sucking and chewing insect pests of
lawns. Use DDT during dry weather to kill chinch bugs and
false chinch bugs; it may also be used to control the sod web-
worm and small larvae of fall armyworm. DDT is the recom-
mended control for leafhoppers.
Use 1 ounce of 50 percent wettable power of DDT in 3 gallons
of water for treating 1,000 square feet of lawn. Use 1 to 11/
pounds of 5 percent DDT dust per 1,000 square feet of lawn.
Precautions.-Any material used as an insecticide is potentially
dangerous to humans. Read carefully all warning labels on pesti-
cide containers. Keep these poisons away from children and
pets. Always wash your hands after applying pesticides.

DISEASES OF LAWNS AND CONTROL MEASURES 3
Lawn Diseases.-Brown patch, caused by a fungus, is one of
the most common diseases of lawn grasses. It attacks St. Aug-
gustine, Bermuda and other grasses, but rarely attacks Centi-
pede lawns. This disease shows up as irregular brown patches,
small at first but soon enlarging until extensive areas are in-
volved. The roots, stems and leaves of the grass are completely
killed.
St. Augustine grass is sometimes attacked by a troublesome
disease known as grey leaf spot. This disease produces oval
grey spots with a purple margin on the leaf-blades of the grass.

3This section was prepared by Erdman West of the Plant Pathology
Department of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station.






Florida Agricultural Experiment Stations


It does not attack other parts of the grass. Grey leaf spot is
most serious during the rainy season or during other moist
periods.
A fungus disease known as anthracnose may affect Carpet
grass lawns. This disease causes the leaves to turn brown and
shrivel. Although the leaves are the only parts severely at-
tacked, the lawn is very unsightly when most of the leaves have
been killed by this disease.
Nearly all species of lawn grasses are attacked occasionally by
fungi of some sort. Leaf spots and rusts are the most common
types of these diseases. However, they are seldom severe enough
to attract attention or need control.
Control Measures.-The most satisfactory control for brown
patch can be obtained by using a commercial fungicide prepared
especially for this purpose. There are several brands on the mar-
ket that are effective, convenient to apply, and leave no unde-
sirable residue.
Grey leaf spot can be controlled by spraying the lawn occasion-
ally with any good, relatively stainless fungicide containing cop-
per. Such copper-containing fungicides will also control anthrac-
nose if applied often and thoroughly enough.

WEED CONTROL IN ESTABLISHED LAWNS
Proper fertilization and mowing will eliminate much of the
weed control problem in established lawns. However, a few
broadleaved, low-growing weeds cannot be completely controlled
in this manner and in such cases one of the formulations of 2,4-D
weed-killer may be used. These materials are available at almost
all garden stores and complete directions for using will be found
on the container.
Extreme caution should be taken when using chemical weed-
killers of any type. These materials will adversely affect plants
other than weeds and it is most imperative that the one making
the treatment have complete knowledge of their qualities.
Sprayers or dusters used for applying herbicides should not be
used for other purposes until you are certain all of the residue
of the weed-killer has been completely removed, as only a trace
may be very toxic to tender flowering plants. Weed-killers
should not be applied when the wind is blowing, as the mist or
dust may be sufficient to do serious damage to cherished shrubs
or plants.

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